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Science Fair: Hope You’re Into Computers Edition

We’re back with Science Fair, Bwog’s weekly curated list of interesting STEM-related talks, symposiums, and events happening on campus. For science and non-science majors alike, our list will bring you events that will satisfy your scientific curiosity for everything from astronomy to zoology, and everything in between.

If your group is hosting a STEM-related event, please email about it to be featured in Science Fair!

For anyone, related-majors and non-majors alike:

Fireside Chat with Scopes and Scrubs (Event hosted by the CNS of CU)

  • Friday, February 21, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, click here for more information
  • The CNS of CU will be hosting a panel discussion and Q&A with Juliana & Marisol of @Scopesandscrubs, an online blog aiming to spread information and tips about MD/PhD programs.

CU Astronomy Outreach presents “Drifting Stars: Migration in the Milky Way” (Lecture by Chris Carr)

  • Friday, February 21, starting at 7:00 PM
  • Very limited information is currently available. This post will be updated when more information becomes known.


Intended for more advanced students of the given subject (but still open to all interested students):

Theoretical Reflections on Quantum Supremacy (Lecture by Umesh Virkumar Vazirani, UC Berkeley)

  • Thursday, February 20, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Schapiro CEPSR room 750, click here for more information
  • “The recent demonstration of quantum supremacy by Google is a first step towards the era of small to medium scale quantum computers. In this talk I will explain what the experiment accomplished and the theoretical work it is based on, as well as what it did not accomplish and the many theoretical and practical challenges that remain. I will also describe recent breakthroughs in the design of protocols for the testing and benchmarking of quantum computers, a task that has deep computational and philosophical implications. Specifically, this leads to protocols for scalable and verifiable quantum supremacy, certifiable quantum random generation and verification of quantum computation.”

Interactive proofs and quantum entanglement (Lecture by Anand Natarajan, Caltech)

  • Monday, February 17, 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM, click here for more information
  • “Interactive proof systems are a classic idea in theoretical computer science, and have led to fundamental advances in complexity theory (hardness of approximation and the PCP theorem) and cryptography. Remarkably, in quantum information, interactive proof systems with multiple provers have become an important tool for studying quantum entanglement, extending the pioneering work of Bell in the 1960s. In this talk I will discuss recent progress in characterizing the power of the complexity class MIP* of such proof systems where the provers share entanglement. In addition to revealing an area of quantum complexity theory that is strikingly different from its classical counterpart, this work has led to new schemes for delegating quantum computations to untrusted servers, as well as to consequences for the Connes embedding problem in operator algebras. At the heart of this work are new protocols that use classical PCP techniques together with the rules of quantum mechanics to let a classical client precisely control an untrusted quantum server.”

Image via Bwog Archive

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